Declaring support for the idea of a United Kingdom is all,the rage. A few weeks back, my good friend David Davies, MP for Monmouth was all over the Welsh media as he promised to launch a 'No campaign'. Must admit that I wasn't entirely sure about what the campaign was going to say 'No' to - but I think that I got the general drift. And for the last year we've heard our beleaguered Prime Minister banging on about 'Britishness', a policy which seems to have backfired spectacularly in Scotland. In today's Wales on Sunday, its the turn of Welsh Office Minister, Huw Irranca-Davies. I really cannot see the sense in anyone who is committed to 'The Union' striving to raise this issue to the top of the agenda. It can only help the other side of the argument. I cannot think of an intervention more helpful to the cause of 'Welsh Independence' than that of Huw Irranca-Davies today.
The article by Tomos Livingstone begins by drawing an analogy with Scotland. Huw is quoted as saying
"When the idea of independence becomes mainstream, as we've seen in Scotland, its a dangerous time socially, economically and politically".
Quite. At present the idea of independence is not remotely mainstream. It probably has no more support than its had for decades. So what's the point of repeating the strategy of Gordon Brown and giving the issue as much publicity as possible. Its nuts. I've always been opposed to the idea of 'Independence'. Most Welsh people take the same view, though there has long been around 15% who disagree. Some of them are readers of this blog. While they talk about the issue amongst themselves, its entirely harmless. There is only one way that the 'idea of independence' will become mainstream. Alex Salmond has shown us that. Persuade your opponents to talk about it all the time. Government Ministers should not be going around desperately trying to raise the subject as an agenda issue - probably in order to do no more than win some coverage in the Wales on Sunday.